So no doubt you’ve already heard the news by now: Club Nintendo is to close later this year, which will be very sad news for fans of free tat. Perhaps ‘tat’ is being a bit harsh, but there’s no denying the fact that the stuff being hoiked through the UK site is not a patch on some of the free things they get abroad. Whereas the US and Japanese fans get free games, we get… golf balls and wrapping paper. I kid you not.
Still, all this stuff IS free, so it seems churlish to complain. Although having said that, slogging through all those marketing questionnaires to claim your Club Nintendo stars sometimes felt almost like having a second job. And you have to have a serious amount of stars in order to get anything partway decent.
I’ve only ever managed to get three things through Club Nintendo in the 12 or so years of its existence: some Mario themed hanafuda cards, which were pretty cool but ultimately fairly useless; a Pikmin keychain that looked amazing but broke after about a week; and a Yoshi cuddly toy, which is one of my favourite things ever (apart from Fire Emblem amiibo, natch). Yoshi-san is currently still in his wrapping, as I’m planning on giving him to Merriweather Jr when he arrives later this year. Although having said that, I may have to carefully ‘look after’ Yoshi myself until MJ is old enough to treat him with the respect he deserves (i.e. not puking all over him). I reckon he should be mature enough at about sixteen.
So a mixed haul from Club Nintendo, then. Perhaps its demise is no bad thing – although I still think the very fact that Nintendo has a loyalty programme is an indicator of how differently the company goes about its business in comparison to Sony and Microsoft. No wonder Nintendo fans are so devoted.
Nintendo has promised us that Club Nintendo will be replaced with a ‘new scheme’, although they’ve yet to release any details. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will be linked in to some sort of gamer account that will let you transfer your profile between machines more easily, as the current system is a right pain. What are your thoughts on Club Nintendo’s demise, and what do you want as a replacement?
In other news, I was pleased to see the reception to my article on Kotaku UK about Douglas Adam’s Starship Titanic – last time I checked it had been shared on Facebook and Twitter over 2,000 times, which put a big smile on my face. I’ve just finished another one, so hopefully it will appear on their website in the not too distant future.
Toodle-pip for now!